It is ALL about telling your money where to go. Let’s explore these three simple yet effective ways to get you to spend less! All too often, I see and meet people who want to get out of debt and even try but fail miserably. They hear a motivational speech and they get inspired to dig out of the trenches of debt that are trapping them. I know that there is a lot of practical tips out there on “how to get out of debt”, and I plan on sharing my two biggest secrets later, but I need to address something…right now! Before you make a budget or meal plan or figure out your expenses vs. income, you need to check your mindset. You heard me! CHECK IT!!! DO you have a belief that food, money, time, etc. is “hard to come by”? If you do, understand that this is NOT a fact but a belief. Know, right now, that your beliefs keep you where you are. You have as much power as anyone to create the life you want and you absolutely deserve to have enough of those resources for you and your family. You see, our mindset towards money is the single most important factor in our success with it. For many of us, including me, we grew up with a poverty mentality. You may not think you have this issue, but
I assure you, if you spend without a budget, are afraid to look at your credit report, if your money is spent before you get it, or if you are constantly waiting for payday to do something, then you have what is called a “poverty mentality”. None of these things leads to abundance. Being frugal and resourceful with your money does NOT promote a scarcity mindset. It is totally the opposite. It is a creative (and responsible) way to take full advantage of the resources and opportunities that come our way. It allows us to walk along the path of abundance and to opt to live a life to the fullest, exuding happiness, generosity, creativity and inspiration, while talking advantage of the waves of opportunities that come our way. Learning to spend less does not mean that you need to promote a scarcity mentality. It is about telling your money where to go! It doesn’t mean that you go around saying you are “broke” or “can’t afford” things. It does, on the other hand mean that you choose to see the limitless possibilities in the world and choose to focus on “what is working”. Trust me, I am one of the most logical people you can meet and sometimes all the talk of the “law of attraction” can sometimes seem far fetched. But you have the power! The power to manifest abundance while ensuring that the money you have now is used wisely and in in the most resourceful way possible.
Living an intentional life is all about living out and being true your values and designing your life according. So I suggest starting with your top five values and deigning your life and your strategies accordingly. It is about working on your mindset in order to change your attitude in order to change your behavior in order to create new habits. This is the progression and order to take in order to desgin and intentional life that you love.
Now that we got our MINDSET in check, we can move onto the two other factors that will help with your spending–BUDGETING and PLANNING. Let’s talk about BUDGETING. It is important to know what your true income and expenses are. Without knowing this information, it will be very difficult to not only get out of debt, but build wealth and look forward to a life after debt. Here are my 7 TOP TIPS for EASY budgeting!
1-KEEP IT SIMPLE: The best way to get started is to make a very basic list of your monthly income and expenses. List things you can easily identify like rent or mortgage, car payment, insurance, utilities, etc. Here we are just getting the “BIG PICTURE”.
2-FIGURE OUT YOUR MONTHLY EXPENSES (AFTER TAX): If you have other sources of income, include those as well.
3-FIGURE OUT ALL OF YOUR EXPENSES: Category wise, you will usually have far more expense categories than income. Just group them into categories as best you can and don’t worry about what you spend right now. This part is about getting down to the basics and trying to thing of everything you spend money on because you normally will have a LOT of hidden expenses. For example these are some popular categories:Rent/Mortgage, Electric, Phone, Internet, Car Payment, Car Insurance, Grocery, Gas, MISC.
4-ESTABLISH ESTIMATES FOR MONTHLY EXPENSES: Write down the recurring amounts paid each month for each category you created in Step #3. You will want to make your best guess at those items that are not recurring.
5-TRACK YOUR SPENDING/EXPENSES/INCOME: For 30 days track everything you spend during a given month. Be sure to record the expense for the month it occurred and not the month it was due. I would suggest trying to get all of your bills due on or around the same time of month. By matching income and expenses, you will be able to determine if your monthly expenses exceed your monthly income or not. Be sure to also track your spending each day.
6-AUTOMATE THE PROCESS: Use online bill pay and keep track of your spending and income each month. Try to save everything for one month after paying your bills and see how much you can save in a 30 day time span.
7-STAY MOTIVATED: Try creating a vision board, joining online communities of like minded people, keep track of your debts paid off on paper, use post it notes with encouraging words, and most of all BELIEVE that there is an abundance of resources available to you–check your mindset daily!Getting a hold of how much you spend daily, weekly, monthly and yearly will give you a real picture about how much money you can save. Outside of the fixed expenses that most of us contend with such as housing, utilities and transportation, one of the biggest areas that can make an impact in your budget.
You have heard it before…without a plan we plan to fail. Let’s talk about planning. Saving money begins with having a plan. One of the biggest areas I save money by planning is MEAL PLANNING! I get asked all the time how I save money on groceries. This single task will save you thousands of dollars!!! Here are my TOP 5 TIPS for saving money on FOOD and MEAL PLANNING!
1-TAKE INVENTORY: Before you go out to shop, heck, before you even make a LIST or a PLAN, ALWAYS check what is in your fridge, freezer, and pantry FIRST! Strive to use everything up that is already on hand. Move things from the bottom of the freezer to the top and from the back of the pantry to the front. Make a soup, stew or casserole with ingredients left over in your fridge. Strive for zero food waste and make sure that you are using what’s on hand in your plan.
2-BUDGET: Decide on what you will spend this month on “groceries”and groceries includes ALL meals and household items–basically everything you can buy at a grocery store. Be real with yourself about what you spend each week or month on “groceries”. I do NOT recommend mixing this budget with going out to eat or calling it a “food” budget. If you have room in your budget to “go out to eat” then make it a separate line item (as noted in my budget template above). Every person and family has a different budget and food prices vary on location, but a good starting point is $100 per month per person with ALL meals cooked and prepared at home.
3-PLAN: Once you know what is on hand it is important to make a plan for what you will buy. I suggest starting with making meals you know you and your family love. I always recommend making a list of 12-15 recipes (these can change depending on seasonal ingredients or times of year) that you and your family will NEVER get tired of eating. When thinking of these meals think of batch cooking them for more than one night. This will enable you to cook less and have more time during busy evenings. Cooking three times a week has changed my life. We eat what we love and we cook less and always have delicious food to eat. This prevents us from eating out and spending money at the last minute on food that you do not have prepared.
4-SHOP: It is great to be flexible with ingredients as certain food items go on sale and are “in season”. Once you know what meals you love and want to make, create a list of ingredients you will need to buy for the week of meals or an entire month of meals. We love to do one big monthly grocery haul in the beginning of the month and then “quick and fresh” grocery hauls the subsequent weeks after that. This allows us to take advantage of items on sale, seasonal produce and stock up items. Be sure to allocate money for each week out of the total monthly budget and use cash if you can.
5-ZERO WASTE: Striving for zero waste with food brought into your home should be a goal from the beginning of this process. Strive to use leftovers, repurpose ingredients into new meals (tons of ideas online), and be resourceful with random items. Remember that cooking simple meals that are balanced but don’t require expensive ingredients is key. Don’t try to keep up with the Jones’s in the area of food…it is a trap. Nourish yourself and move on. Through practice and commitment, you can learn to find contentment in this simple and intentional way of nourishing your body. This method can save you thousands of dollars and once you are used to it, the benefits are many.
With a little bit of effort and mind shifting you can learn to spend less while inviting more abundance into your life! Let me know if this has worked for you or if you are willing to try it!
PIN IT for LATER!